The Breeders’ Cup Classic stole the show on Saturday night at Santa Anita Park with a bit of controversy and a thrilling finish, but the 2014 Breeders’ Cup included 13 races over the course of two days.
Every single purse in the event was at least $1 million, and the Classic checked in at $5 million. That $5 million price tag is the richest race in all of North American horse racing and is a testament to how important the grand finale of the season is in the big picture of the sport, even if it doesn’t have the designation of being a Triple Crown race.
With all that in mind, here is a look at the winner and the full purse payout for every single race in the 2014 Breeders’ Cup. Information is courtesy of BreedersCup.com.
|2014 Breeders' Cup Winners and Full Purse Payouts|
|Date||Race||Winner||Full Purse Payout|
|Friday, Oct. 31||Juvenile Turf||Hootenanny||$1 million|
|Friday, Oct. 31||Dirt Mile||Goldencents||$1 million|
|Friday, Oct. 31||Juvenile Fillies Turf||Lady Eli||$1 million|
|Friday, Oct. 31||Longines Distaff||Untapable||$2 million|
|Saturday, Nov. 1||14 Hands Winery Juvenile Fillies||Take Charge Brandi||$2 million|
|Saturday, Nov. 1||Filly & Mare Turf||Dayatthespa||$2 million|
|Saturday, Nov. 1||DraftKings Filly & Mare Sprint||Judy The Beauty||$1 million|
|Saturday, Nov. 1||Turf Sprint||Bobby's Kitten||$1 million|
|Saturday, Nov. 1||Sentient Jet Juvenile||Texas Red||$2 million|
|Saturday, Nov. 1||Longines Turf||Main Sequence||$3 million|
|Saturday, Nov. 1||Xpressbet Sprint||Work All Week||$1.5 million|
|Saturday, Nov. 1||Mile||Karakontie||$2 million|
|Saturday, Nov. 1||Classic||Bayern||$5 million|
Horse of the Year Fallout
Bayern won the 2014 Breeders’ Cup Classic on Saturday in 1:59.88 and proved that he is more than just a fast sprinter by holding off late charges from second-place finisher Toast of New York and third-place finisher California Chrome.
The record book will forever say that Bayern won the race, but it is not that simple. Neither is the subsequent Horse of the Year voting that will be unveiled in January.
The start of Saturday’s race was a jumbled mess. Bayern immediately veered out of the gates and bumped into pre-race favorite Shared Belief, who then hit Moreno. It was something of a domino effect, and the loaded field of competitors banged around for the opening few seconds.
Bayern emerged from the scuffle with the lead and held on for dear life throughout.
Even though the action happened right at the beginning and every horse had the opportunity to make up ground during the race, it is difficult to make the case that the outcome of the event was not altered.
Jockey Mike Smith, who rode Shared Belief, certainly thought that was the case, via Bob Ehalt of ESPN.com, “I think it cost me the race. I was never able to get comfortable after getting hit at the break. I kept getting bounced around all the way around the turn.”
Now the question is whether Horse of the Year voters hold the controversial win against Bayern when the time comes to decide.
If you go based on results alone, Bayern has the Breeders’ Cup Classic win and two victories in $1 million races at the Haskell and the Pennsylvania Derby.
Saturday’s race included arguably the best field of contenders of any event all season, and Bayern eclipsed them all. That should be enough to take home the title.
Bayern was far from perfect this year, though.
He finished in last place at the Travers at Saratoga, next-to-last at the Preakness and has two other losses on his resume.
What’s more, there are a number of other legitimate candidates, including Shared Belief, who was undefeated entering Saturday’s race, and California Chrome, who won the highly publicized Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes and looked impressive on Saturday running only his second race since June.
Throw in Main Sequence, who was a perfect 4-0 this year, all in Grade 1 stakes, and two-time consecutive Horse of the Year Wise Dan, and there is some deliberation ahead for the voters.
Still, Bayern made a statement with so many top-notch horses in Saturday’s field, even if that statement had a bit of controversy attached to it. Jay Privman of Daily Racing Forum made an important acknowledgment as well:
At the end of the day, Bayern’s results on paper just look to be too much for the rest of the field.
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